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Review for The Hummingbird Project, Cleveland, OH, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been living and working in East Africa for the last 12 years, working on a variety of development programmes from across sectors. Most recently, I've been the Programme Director of a $7M, systems-based climate change resilience programme in northeastern Uganda and on the Somali border of Kenya. I left my work to pursue direct trainings in permaculture and agroecology so that I could provide more hands-on and technical input in to resilience building in East Africa, as well as Southeast Asia where I'm increasing doing work.

I've dedicated this year to attend various trainings, including the one at Vandana Shiva's Navdanya Centre outside of Dehradun in India. Chris and Marilyn were among the stellar line up of instructors from around the world, hand-picked by Dr. Shiva for their deep technical knowledge on issues of seed saving and soil micro-biology. Chris and Marilyn are artful in their ability to take complex scientific concepts and convert them in to digestible, interesting and inspiring modules that are effective in helping the lay person understand important issues effecting living soil; a precious global resource under threat.

In the African context where people, especially women and girls, are increasingly vulnerable to climate shocks and stresses, it is critical that small farmers and homesteads are sensitized to the importance of selecting climate resilient seeds, or seeds with traits that can fetch higher market prices, linking poor communities with greater market opportunities and income generation.

Lastly, I have recently been doing work in southeast Asia on how to integrate principles and practices of permaculture to public health issues, including HIV/AIDs, Malaria and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia. Chris and Marilyn saw eye-to-eye on me with how to address issues of malnutrition and even reducing environmental disease vectors to address a host of issues that effect household and community health, which adds to the system-based approach to the Humming Bird perspective, well beyond the aspects of agriculture and food production and in to comprehensive resilience and community well-being.

Not only have I gained greater technicals skills in the short time with Chris and Marilyn that I'll apply to my work with climate vulnerable communities, but I also look forward to partnering with the Hummingbird Project in the future on helping communities to restore functional ecosystems and enhance community health through regenerative food systems.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field